Saturday, 3 January 2015

The Four Stars Chapter Twenty Two

Previous chapter: Evening Matters.

Chapter Twenty Two: Ponderous Morning.

The day was rather cold. Attie rolled out of bed and pulled on a blood-red turtleneck. She slipped some short jeans over her skinny legs. She felt rather awkward for turning out her guest so suddenly the previous evening. She took out her phone and composed an apologetic message for Nathalie to read.

The younger Lion went downstairs after sending the text to Nathalie. When she got to the bottom of the steps, she glanced at her twin sister.

Isabel was jogging on the treadmill and looking at her housemates, who were busy talking nineteen to the dozen over breakfast.

"My mom emailed me yesterday, she said that one of my British cousins will come over to the States in the next few months," said Francesca. "Before she heads off to the Journeyman Uni's base camp in upstate New York, she's going to spend a month or two with my parents to get her bearings."

"Working off the jet lag, I take it?" Hera chirped. "What's your cousin look like, or act like, for that matter?"


Francesca told Hera about her cousin.
"I've never seen Prudence myself," said Francesca. "All I know about her is what my mom and aunts told me. Hearsay."

"You said she's from England and is home schooled," Hera replied. "Did anyone mention why she was home schooled?"

"No, they didn't tell me anything."

"Right. What's Prudence's denomination?"

"Pres-pres-pres, Prebysterian?"

"Presbyterian," Hera corrected her. "Do you know what that group believes?" Francesca shook her head. Hera tried to explain it in a few well-chosen phrases, but Francesca still looked blank. "Never mind," Hera said with a sigh. "It's a form of Protestantism."

"You're a Protestant yourself, Hera," said Isabel. "Pentecostal, right?"

"Yes, I am a Pentecost," said Hera. "Now, about your cousin, Fran. Do you know what her hobbies are?"

"She likes watching and reading debates, as far as I know. If I find out anything else, I'll be sure to tell you all about it."

"Putting that journalism practice to good use, I'll say," Hera remarked and continued eating.

Isabel privately thought that Francesca's cousin sounded like another eccentric. "Who am I to judge?" thought the elder Lion. "We're all odd here, to paraphrase Disney's Cheshire Cat."

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After breakfast, Hera washed the plates lazily by swiping them with a soap-filled sponge and rinsing them. She dried her hands and ran over to the piano. The chords of Korobeiniki filled the air. Attie pricked up her ears and went over to the music corner.
"To be, or not to be? Should I even ask the dolly?"
Attie took the voodoo doll out of her pocket as she watched Hera play piano. As the blue eyed woman covered a medieval theme, Attie stared at the doll. "To be, or not to be? To suffer the outrageous slings of fortune, blah blah blah," Attie muttered to herself. "I should ask Fran for the full quote."

Meanwhile, Isabel was getting ready for work at the museum. She decided to check her email. She got a surprise.
Isabel strutted off to work.
Isabel stared at the email, then read it three times. "I start my teaching practice next week?" she asked. "Better prepare some art tutorials while I'm at work."

She pulled the ragged gray smock over her head after taking off her fine white jacket. "Another day of work awaits," she quipped, although no one was there to hear it.

Just before Isabel stepped out to go to work, she thought, "At least my housemates can look after themselves. No worries here."

Next chapter: Ponderous Afternoon.

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